This is shaping up to be hairy and very fast. The back story is that the January 6 Select Committee subpoenaed a company named Salesforce. Salesforce is a “customer relationship management giant” who knows all the ins and outs of the Republican National Committee’s fundraising. That isn’t setting well with the RNC, that this vendor has been subpoenaed and so now they’re taking the J6 Committee to court. Axios:

Why it matters: It’s the most significant legal confrontation so far between the GOP’s official apparatus and the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

  • The Feb. 23 subpoena, reviewed by Axios, shows the intensity of the panel’s efforts to link the assault with official fundraising and engagement efforts — and to learn precisely who was crafting and sending emails and how they impacted supporters who read them.

  • Former President Donald Trump himself and other witnesses have also sued to try to block committee subpoenas.

Details: The substance of the Salesforce subpoena seeks documents from the RNC’s fundraising platform vendor, owned by Salesforce, that the committee says could contain evidence of fundraising practices based on falsehoods that may have contributed to the attack.

  • The draft of the RNC lawsuit characterizes the subpoena as a political ploy that is “staggeringly broad and unduly burdensome,” and a “fishing expedition” designed to expose confidential information about donors and fundraising practices.
  • Tim Mulvey, a spokesman for the Jan. 6 committee, declined to comment.
  • Salesforce did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

What they’re saying: “The RNC and its millions of supporters face an unprecedented threat that will undoubtedly chill their First Amendment rights and expose the RNC’s supporters to reprisals and harassment,” the document says.

  • Turning over the data would provide political opponents “with an all-access pass to confidential RNC political strategies and the personal information of millions of its supporters.”

  • The RNC says it violates the First and Fourth Amendments and claims the committee is not properly constituted and therefore lacks the authority to subpoena records.

  • Whether or not it wins in court, the RNC could try to draw out the process long enough that November’s midterm elections make it a moot point.

This has all the earmarks of becoming a nasty, politicized battle. Here’s the bottom line.

  • The committee is examining whether the people who drafted fundraising appeals that invoked false claims about fraud in the 2020 election or pledged to use that money to fight election results in court knew those claims were false at the time, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The RNC has a point about protecting its internal functions. The J6 Committee has a point about who was fundraising off of the Big Lie. Irresistible force, meet immovable object.

My prediction is that this is going to get ugly and fast. The use of emails might constitute wire fraud. Bookmark this, this is going to be explosive.

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  1. I share your concern about finding the balance between free speech and the need to protect the rule of law and our government institutions & processes. I’m not a lawyer, but if the subpoena is specific to individuals who sent specific fundraising appeals that contained false and/or misleading information, AND the communications of leaders of various entities where evidence has already been established in court or even sworn testimony then while there might be a lot of names the scope is pretty well defined.

  2. Well, considering TWO members of the Committee happen to be Republicans (whether the House leadership or the RNC leadership considers them as such or not is a decidedly moot point), if there’s nothing untoward in the records, then the RNC shouldn’t be too concerned. As for the donors’ privacy, I’m sorry. If you’re donating money BASED ON LIES, I’d think you wouldn’t have any objections to the Committee getting these records; in fact, that could be the real argument the RNC wants to use but is too damned afraid to state outright: Just imagine the lawsuit potential from donors who, acting in good faith, contributed money that was ultimately used to help fund the insurrection. I may be mistaken but I think there are laws against raising money based on deliberate falsehoods and I’m pretty certain that donors do have a right to know EXACTLY how their money was spent (if funds were raised, for example, to help Trump’s court fight to overturn the election, that’s one thing but if they were actually spent on organizing the Jan 6 “rally” and there was no mention of that in the fundraising appeals, that sets up a good case for fraud).

  3. You nailed this one, Ms.Faw. The RNC will
    commit ritual suicide if they have to, protecting their big-money donors, because without the cash infusions of Peter Theil, Erik Prince, and other Western oligarchs devoted to bringing about the utter subjugation of American citizens, rendering them little more than serfs, the RNC is little more than dry, crunchy bread—i.e. toast.


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